Chris Harris says Matt LeBlanc didn't want to quit 'Top Gear'.

Chris Harris

Chris Harris

The BBC motoring show's presenter insisted his co-star was "gutted" he had to leave after two years, and the former 'Friends' actor made the move because the travel was taking too much out of him.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Chris explained: "He's gutted he couldn't carry on doing it - it's not because he didn't want to do it.

"The geography of his life didn't allow him to do it... You could argue he put himself out there for too long to carry on doing it. The travel for him was extraordinary."

When the new series launches this weekend, Chris will be joined by new co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff, but he is sure he'll remain good pals with Matt.

He added: "I know he wishes us all the best of luck... I loved working with him, he's a top bloke. Matt will be a friend forever. He's a good buddy and we're in regular contact."

Matt joined the show as regular co-host in 2016 along with Chris Evans, following the departure of previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

Chris quit the show after just one series but Matt proved a hit with viewers and critics and was joined by co-hosts Chris Harris and Rory Reid for the following instalment.

He announced his exit last summer, and explained he was leaving his role in order to spend more time with his family.

He said at the time: "The time commitment and extensive travel required to present 'Top Gear' takes me away from my family and friends more than I'm comfortable with.

"It's unfortunate, but for these reasons I will not be continuing my involvement with the show. I will forever be a 'Top Gear' fan and I wish the team continued success."

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